The secluded Auckland hideaway waiting to relieve your weary spirits

Travel News from Stuff - 27-11-2023

The last thing I see before closing my eyes is the night sky painted with stars.

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The last thing I hear is the call of a morepork in the trees, and a gentle rustle of nocturnal wildlife outside my room.

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Is there a more perfect way to drift off to sleep? Cosy and warm from the wood fire burning in the lounge, while at peace and relaxed in a private universe miles away from big city life.

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Kawau Lodge Boutique Resort is a secluded nature haven, situated on Auckland’s famous wilderness island accessible only by boat. If you’re looking for a tranquil waterfront escape surrounded by native bush and birdsong, you’ve come to the right place.

From Auckland, drive up to Sandspit, where you can take a charter to Kawau Island or cruise to your destination on the famous Royal Mail Run Cruise, said to be the largest mail run by water in the Southern Hemisphere. Dropping you off on a private jetty at Kawau Island’s North Cove, you’ll wend your way up through the manicured gardens to the luxury lodge.

The lodge spans three levels, each with a wraparound deck to soak up the pristine views of the inlet, dotted with boats and rustic baches reflected in the glassy water. The eight rooms sleep a total of 16, and you can book a room or the whole lodge, ideal for a family holiday or getaway with friends.

The main level of the lodge has three sleeping areas, two bathrooms, a large modern kitchen with a walk-in pantry and a spacious living area with a woodburner. There’s no need to draw the curtains at night – meaning you can see the stars from your bed.

Walking tracks behind the lodge will lead you through a secret garden – I’ll say no more to avoid ruining the surprise – and to a number of vantage points where every view reveals another untouched secret of the island.

In the evening, my friend and I whip up a pre-dinner cheeseboard, contemplating which of the outdoor areas we wish to relax in. The covered deck outside the main lodge? The swinging bench seat overlooking the jetty? The sun loungers under the trees? The cabana bar? Or the entertaining area by the kayaks?

When choosing which idyllic spot to eat and drink is your toughest decision of the night, you know you’ve found somewhere special; a private cove away from traffic that quietens even the busiest of minds.

The lodge provides kayaks free of charge, so I start the next morning with a paddle around the cove. I’m the only one out on the water on this serene and sunny morning. Eagle rays drift across the bottom and the water looks so inviting I’m nearly ready to jump out of my vessel for a swim in the middle of the harbour. It’s a tonic for my soul – and will be for your weary spirits, too.

Kawau Lodge Boutique Resort starts from $450 for one bedroom in the low season to $4500 for the entire lodge in the high season. See:

There are no shops on the island, so you’ll need to bring your own food, or catering can be arranged prior to your stay to be shipped to you.

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